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Format for MLS Return to Play Unveiled

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Matt Besler share’s the details on the tournament in Orlando.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Updated 6/10/2020: MLS released the official “MLS is Back” details.


Two days ago it was confirmed there would be no lockout as the MLSPA and Major League Soccer reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). While no official announcement has been made on what the return to play in Orlando looks like, details are beginning to emerge.

On his weekly radio spot on 810 WHB, Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler unveiled some details. He confirmed previous rumors that all the MLS teams will come to Orlando and play all the tournament games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The teams would be divided into groups like at the World Cup and play three group stage matches, which will be added to the original two matches all teams played towards their regular season totals.

Then 16 teams would advance out of the ‘group stage’ into a 16-team knockout style tournament. The teams that didn’t advance would go home with the others moving through the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and finally the championship. Only the group stage matches will be added to the season totals.

There have been reports that there will be prizes for winning and advancing. Now Jeff Rueter of The Athletic is reporting the winner will get a CONCACAF Champions League berth.

Besler went on to say he believes all the games will be broadcast nationally and there were reports that each day would have two morning games and two evening games. You can listen to the entire Besler interview here.

The Blue Testament will continue to update you on the evolving situation as more details emerge.